Keown piles praise onto Everton's John Stones

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown says he's been impressed by Everton defender John Stones.

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast Show for talkSPORT that he’s been impressed with Everton’s John Stones.

Stones has become a key component of Roberto Martinez’s side after returning to action from injury and the ex-Gunner likes what he sees.

“I like John Stones, he’s a good young defender and provides balance to the team,” said Keown.

Stones produced some decent performances for the club towards the back end of last season following his move from Barnsley, which led to the Daily Mail suggesting he was a target for both Chelsea and Arsenal.

He offers a different option for Roberto Martinez to Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin in the respect that he’s younger, quicker and arguably more agile on his feet.

He’s at a great club and playing for a manager who is experienced in terms of developing younger players.

He provides balance because he can play in two different positions; right-back and centre-back, featuring in both positions already this season as confirmed by

He’s made more appearances through the middle of the defence, which suggests that’s where Martinez wants him to consolidate.

His consistency in that position should improve, though it’s positive for Martinez that he provides cover out on the right-hand side.

His challenge now is to try and help a defence which has conceded 34 goals (fifth worst) in the Premier League this season.

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